The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), New Jersey Civil Rights Act (NJCRA), federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), and New Jersey common law all protect employees from retaliation. Retaliation in New Jersey includes retaliatory terminations, demotions, transfers, salary reductions, disciplinary actions, harassment, bullying, and other adverse actions. If you have suffered any of these retaliatory actions, you may be protected by one of these powerful laws.
The Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) is one of the most far-reaching whistleblower protection statutes in the country. Unlike other states’ whistleblower protection statutes, CEPA protects employees both in the public and private sector. CEPA also holds both employer corporations and its individuals liable for retaliation. The scope of CEPA’s protection is especially broad and includes employees who complain about, refuse to participate in, or object to corporate or individual activities that the employee reasonably believes to be unlawful, fraudulent, or in violation of public policy.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination has its own powerful protection of employees who have complained about discrimination against themselves or others. N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(d) prohibits retaliation by anyone against anyone who opposes any discriminatory practice:
It shall be an unlawful employment practice: For any person to take reprisals against any person because that person has opposed any practices or acts forbidden under this act or because that person has filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any proceeding under this act or to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of that person having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this act.
The New Jersey Civil Rights Act is another strong state statute that protects public employees and some private employees from retaliation in violation of the New Jersey and United States Constitutions. Public employees are protected from retaliation for exercising their Constitutional right of free speech, freedom of expression, unlawful searches and seizures, violations of substantive due process, and other civil rights.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees from retaliation for taking leave to care for the employee’s own serious health condition or the serious health condition of the employee's immediate family member. The New Jersey Family Leave Act protects employees from retaliation for taking leave to care for a family member and to both fathers and mothers who wish to have bonding time with their newborns.
New Jersey also has a broad common law protection of employees who are terminated in violation of public policy, even in some circumstances not expressly protected by the statutes listed above. New Jersey Courts have found employees protected when they suffered adverse employment actions for actions such as unwarranted drug testing, filing a worker’s compensation complaint, and for engaging in union activities.
Schorr & Associates has been aggressively representing employees who have suffered retaliation since 1993. Alan H. Schorr, a Certified Civil Trial attorney, has had many significant legal victories at the Federal and Appellate Courts, including Stomel v. Camden, Gerard v. Camden County and Rivera v. Camden Board of Education, and numerous significant verdicts and settlements. Many of these cases are handled on a contingent basis (no fee unless recovery), and there is always a free initial telephone consultation available.